A pleasant side effect of the South Beach Diet was weight loss.
The South Beach Diet helps you to lose weight by focusing on a healthy balance between good carbs and the right fats to eliminate cravings while burning away excess fat at the same time.
The South Beach Diet is not low-carb. Nor is it low-fat. Instead, it teaches you to rely on the right carbs and the right fats – the good ones – so you lose weight, lower your cholesterol, reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes, and get rid of cravings without feeling hungry.
In one 12-week study of 40 overweight people, those who followed the South Beach Diet lost an average of 13.6 lb, almost double the 7.5 lb lost by those on the strict “Step II” American Heart Association (AHA) diet. And the South Beach Diet group showed greater decreases in waist-to-hip ratio (belly fat) and triglycerides, and their good to bad cholesterol ratio improved more. Plus, only one person dropped out compared with five in the AHA group.
By choosing the right carbs and the right fats, you simply won’t be hungry all the time, and portion sizes will take care of themselves.
Good Carbs versus Bad Carbs
Much of our excess weight comes from the carbohydrates we eat, especially the highly processed ones found in baked goods, breads, snacks, soft drinks, and other convenient favorites. Modern industrial processing removes the fiber from these foods, and once that’s gone, their very nature- and how we metabolize them- changes significantly, and for the worse.
One side effect of excess weight, we now know, is an impairment of insulin’s ability to do its job of processing fuel (fats and sugars) properly. This condition is called insulin resistance. As a result, the body stores more fat than it should, especially in the midsection.
Decrease consumption of those bad carbs, studies showed, and the insulin resistance starts clearing up. Weight decreases, and you begin metabolizing carbs properly. Even the craving for carbs disappears once you cut down on them. Finally, cutting out processed carbs lowers triglycerides and cholesterol.
The Right Fat
To make up for the overall cut in carbs, the South Beach Diet permits ample fats and animal proteins. The low-fat regimen’s severe restrictions on meat were unnecessary. The latest studies had shown that lean meat did not have a harmful effect on blood chemistry. Even egg yolks are good for you, which is contrary to what we once believed. Chicken, turkey, and fish are recommended, along with nuts and low-fat cheeses and yogurt.
As a rule, low-fat prepared foods can be a bad idea; the fats are replaced with carbs, which are also fattening. But dairy products such as cheese, milk, and yogurt that are low-fat are exceptions to this rule; they are nutritious and not fattening.
Also allowed with the South Beach Diet are plenty of healthy monounsaturated fats such as olive and canola oils. These are the good fats. In addition to actually reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke, they taste good and make food palatable. They’re filling too.
Caution: If you have kidney problems, talk to your doctor before starting this diet. If you have diabetes, get tested to make sure that your kidneys are not impaired before starting this diet.
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